Heatherwick Studio’s plans of reimagining Seoul’s Nodeul Island

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Nodeul Island with greenery
Nodeul Island © MIR

Heatherwick Studio recently revealed their design that transformed an artificial island on the Han River in the center of Seoul into a new public park. Their design won global competition, among many other proposals. The project is named Soundscape and aims to create a trail of dramatic spaces on different levels. The design includes a space to host musical performances and artistic interventions within the biodiverse landscape.

Seoul’s mountainous terrain has significantly inspired the design and the patterns created by soundwaves that were selected following a year-long series of exhibitions, consultations, and a public vote. Thomas Heatherwick, the founder and design director of Heatherwick Studio, said: “I am thrilled that Soundscape has been chosen by the people of Seoul. In this hyper-digital age, we’ve had so many amazing innovations in the way people live, but there has also been an increasing sense of loneliness and isolation. We want to make a hyper-physical place that reconnects Seoulites with nature, culture, and, most importantly, with each other,” about the connection of the project with the public.

Nodeul Island with lights at night
Nodeul Island © MIR

Instead of demolishing the existing artificial landscape, the design aims to improve the riverbanks with soft and natural plantations. Visitors will experience a landscape that evolves as the tides and seasons change. Visitors will be able to enjoy a changing landscape that evolves with the tides and seasons. The ground level will feature an arts center and a public beach, while as the landscape ascends, an events podium will be revealed, connecting to a striking 1.2-kilometer-long skywalk. This skywalk will consist of a series of small floating islets, providing resting areas with stunning views of the island and the river back to Seoul.

Nodeul Island will give everyone an amazing excuse to escape and embrace the city. A landscape that bends and folds like soundwaves will combine with a new nature-rich waterfront and offer people a place to discover and express the culture of Seoul. 

Thomas Heatherwick, the founder and design director of Heatherwick Studio

Soundscape, Nodeul Island will be Heatherwick Studio’s first project to be realized in South Korea. The construction works are planned to begin soon, and the new Nodeul Island is anticipated to be open for visitors in 2027.

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